Monday, November 26, 2007

Archbishop of Canterbury: I, for one, welcome our new Muslim overlords

Why doesn't Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and nominal leader of the world’s 70 million or so Anglicans, just convert to Islam and get it over and done with?

In an interview with an Islamic ‘lifestyle’ magazine, Williams once again pins the blame for all the world’s problems on the US and Israel, and takes a swipe at Western civilisation in general for good measure, while, as ever, giving Islam a free pass.

The full interview is here
. The Sunday Times reported:

In a wide-ranging interview with a British Muslim magazine, the Anglican leader linked criticism of the United States to one of his most pessimistic declarations about the state of western civilisation.

He said the crisis was caused not just by America’s actions but also by its misguided sense of its own mission. He poured scorn on the “chosen nation myth of America, meaning that what happens in America is very much at the heart of God’s purpose for humanity”.

Williams went beyond his previous critique of the conduct of the war on terror, saying the United States had lost the moral high ground since September 11. He urged it to launch a “generous and intelligent programme of aid directed to the societies that have been ravaged; a check on the economic exploitation of defeated territories; a demilitarisation of their presence”.

He went on to suggest that the West was fundamentally adrift: “Our modern western definition of humanity is clearly not working very well. There is something about western modernity which really does eat away at the soul.”

Williams suggested American leadership had broken down: “We have only one global hegemonic power. It is not accumulating territory: it is trying to accumulate influence and control. That’s not working.”

He contrasted it unfavourably with how the British Empire governed India.
“It is one thing to take over a territory and then pour energy and resources into administering it and normalising it. Rightly or wrongly, that’s what the British Empire did — in India, for example.

“It is another thing to go in on the assumption that a quick burst of violent action will somehow clear the decks and that you can move on and other people will put it back together — Iraq, for example.”

The Times reports that Williams made only “mild criticisms” of Islam in the interview, saying that the Muslim world must acknowledge that its “political solutions were not the most impressive”, and commended the Muslim practice of praying five times a day.

No mention, of course, of the Muslim practices of according inferior status to women; the stoning and flogging of women for perceived immoral behaviour; or the jailing of non-believers for 'crimes' as trivial as allowing children to name a teddy bear Mohammed.

Not a word about the murder of apostates and insufficiently Muslim Muslims, the hanging of homosexuals or the ritual slaughter of Christians; and nothing on the reluctance of Muslim leaders to condemn the atrocities carried out in the name of their religion.

But then Williams has always been ready to make excuses for terrorists and their ideologies, and to blame their victims for bringing about their own misfortune. Before radical Islam it was communism. In the 1980s Williams took part in protests against the siting of American Cruise missiles in Britain, even managing to get himself arrested outside the US airbase at Lakenheath in Suffolk.

Like the rest of the international Left, with communism defeated Williams had to find another ideology to challenge the Western hegemony that so dismays him. Apparently it found him first.

Williams was in New York on September 11 2001, but far from the events of that day strengthening his resolve to stand up for Judeo-Christian values and culture in the face of an unprecedented attack, he took issue with the very idea of labeling the perpetrators as evil, writing in a pamphlet 'reflecting' on the biggest terrorist atrocity in history:

"We have something of the freedom to consider whether or not we turn to violence and so, in virtue of that very fact, are rather different from those who experience their world as leaving no other option."

As Anglican Priest and author Dr Peter Mullen wrote in the Wall Street Journal at the time (he's quoting Williams):

Once we have admitted that the atrocity was not the terrorists' fault, what next? "We begin to find some sense of what they and we might together recognise as good." Really? But how to make common moral cause between democracy's rule of law and nihilistic killing? Do sit down Osama. Have another éclair while we discuss the terms of trade.

In a speech in 2003 Williams claimed that terrorists can “have serious moral goals”, and denied that states have the right to unilaterally defend themselves. He's been relentlessly critical of the war in Iraq, and has warned the US against attacking Iran or Syria.

He's perfectly entitled to oppose the war in Iraq, but to talk about
'economic exploitation of defeated territories' is simply hysterical. What does he imagine the US has taken from Iraq? Why no mention of the removal of a dictator who killed hundreds of thousands, or of the free elections?

What about the billions the US has already spent on reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the billions more it spends in aid to every corner of the globe. Who would he rather see as a "global hegemonic power"? China? Russia?

Many conservatives would share Williams' contention that elements of western modernity "eat away at the soul". But they would blame the cultural and political Left for it, while Williams prefers to pin most of the blame on America and capitalism.

With the notable exception of his strong pro-life views, Williams is an archetypal Western lefty, bashing the US and Israel, making excused for dictators and terrorists, and railing against the imagined evils of free-market democracy.

His views sound uncannily like the liberation theology that was preached by Catholic priests in Latin American in the 1970s and 80s. For a man of the cloth, he seems rather more in thrall to the notion of Heaven on earth than Heaven proper, and he's so riddled with guilt – for being white, for being a Christian, for being a member of Western civilisation – that his daily existence must be torture.

Maybe Williams would feel a little better if, instead of meddling in politics, rewriting history and making excuses for mass murder, he focused his energies on addressing the many problems of his church. Attendances have been falling steadily for years, churches in Britain are closing left, right and centre and revenues are falling – and the picture would be even worse if congregations weren't being propped up by increasing numbers of immigrants.

And then of course there's Williams' shambolic handling of the gay clergy controversy, which has raised the spectre of the disintegration of the worldwide Anglican communion.

Islam, meanwhile is booming – no pun intended – even without the help of glowing testimonials from the likes of Williams. It's quite probably the world's fastest-growing religion, both in terms of numbers of adherents, and the number of countries in which its followers make up a significant proportion of the population.

Islam isn't constrained by doubts about its place in the world, and doesn't appear to be unduly troubled by the growing number of people that cite its tenets as justification for doing evil. And in its most extreme form it combines religion with the totalitarian impulses of fascism and communism.

Dr Mullen, in his Wall Street Journal piece, concluded:

Dr. Williams is often described here as something of a saint. In fact, he is an old-fashioned class warrior, a typical bien-pensant despiser of Western capitalism and the way of life that goes with it. Perhaps this would not matter much in ordinary times, but when the future of Western civilization itself is under threat, such posturing is suicidal. What havoc this man might wreak from the throne of Canterbury.

Almost five years of havoc-wreaking later, perhaps Williams can see the writing on the wall for his religion, and is embarking on negotiations over a future takeover that he trusts won't be overly hostile. Hopefully the rest of Western civilisation won't succumb as easily.

Related: Victor Davis Hanson has some history lessons for Williams at The Corner (hat tip Instapundit).

Update: Mitt Romney on the Hugh Hewitt show:

…I think you have to go through piece by piece, and say with him, he’s entitled to his opinion, but he’s certainly not speaking for God, and that this is a nation which has sacrificed more than any nation in the history of the Earth to preserve peace, and certainly has saved the bacon of people in Great Britain, and people in Europe generally, and the entire world doesn’t speak German today because of the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of Americans. So it’s not a great place for him to be making that kind of comment, and today, we are one of the nations that’s taking the lead to keep the spread of violent, radical jihad from developing nuclear weaponry, and potentially threatening the existence of great civilizations.

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